JACKSONVILLE – As Gus Bradley sees it, there's no rush.
That's the Jaguars Head Coach's view of the team's starting quarterback situation, and General Manager David Caldwell said he agrees:
Yes, there will come a time to name a starter at the position.
But that time is not now.
"We'll just let it play out and play it by ear," Bradley said Thursday afternoon following the third of three Jaguars 2013 minicamp practices at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields adjacent to EverBank Field.
Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne each worked with the starters during organized team activities and minicamp, with Gabbert opening with the starters during Thursday's practice that was open to the public and Henne also getting time with the first unit. The Jaguars claimed veteran quarterback Mike Kafka off waivers from New England this week, and also have rookies Matt Scott and Jordan Rodgers on the 90-man roster.
Bradley and Caldwell have said throughout the offseason each position on the roster is an open competition, and each said Wednesday that remains true at quarterback.
As far as when a starter could be named at quarterback, Caldwell said Thursday, "probably when it presents itself.
"Coach Bradley and his staff, myself, we're going to go through the process," Caldwell said. "There's no rush. When it presents itself, and when we feel good that somebody's the flat-out winner, we'll do it. We have to go through camp and some preseason games to figure that out."
Caldwell said the decision will be made by Bradley and the staff.
"I'll have my input," Caldwell said. "At the end of the day, they have to feel comfortable with the guy they have. I'll give my strong opinion and be part of the process, but at the end of the day they have to go into the games with who they feel is best."
Bradley said he didn't anticipate a starter being named before training camp begins July 26.
"I don't foresee that happening right now," he said. "I'd like to see them in pads and go through some training camp."
LANE, WILSON RELEASED
The Jaguars on Thursday signed cornerback Lionel Smith and punter Ken Parrish to the 90-man roster. Each had been in minicamp on a tryout basis.
The team also released four-year veteran defensive end Austen Lane, and rookie cornerback Trey Wilson. Caldwell said the timing of Lane's release was about allowing him to have time to find another team before training camp.
"We ask these guys to do a lot for us in terms of coming in on a daily basis and doing the right things," Caldwell said. "If we get a guy like Austen Lane, who does all the right things and we feel like it's just not a great fit for him from a scheme standpoint, give him the next six weeks to go and find a spot where he can go and compete instead of coming in here and knowing the end result through training camp. With our veterans and guys that do what we ask, we're going to try to do right by them."
Caldwell also said while the Jaguars' defensive ends are now more of a four- or five-technique – or end/linebacker hybrids in the team's "Leo" position – Lane is more of a traditional 4-3 base left defensive end.
"He was kind of caught in between," Caldwell said.
VIEW FROM THE OZONE
Thursday's practice ended 2013 minicamp, which means the end of the veterans' offseason. Where do the Jaguars' stand as the offseason comes to an end? The offense is installed, and we know it's up-tempo and quarterback friendly. We also know we're gearing up for an honest-to-goodness quarterback competition come training camp. The defense is installed, too, and we know it's going to look different with as many as seven new starters, and a lot of press coverage if not a lot of blitzing. It's also true that Bradley likes more about this team. The players are starting to get what he means by competition, which means they're buying in. That was one goal of the offseason. Another was to get all the knowledge in all the players' heads, so when pads go on, real competition can begin. That will be what training camp is about, and that should be intense, with a ton of storylines. That's going to mean camp battles, with jobs on the line, and it's going to mean a lot of decisions for the coaches and the front office.
"The whole body of work that we talked about, what we wanted to get accomplished with the attitude, the mentality coming off from our first mini-camp that we had back in April till now . . . I think we established that. We're not there yet. The three most dangerous words in our building are "We got it," and we ain't ever got it. We know we've got some work to do but I'm very pleased with how much we've progressed and how far we've come along to this point."
--- Head Coach Gus Bradley
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"I feel good about what we've done and the work we've put in. Obviously, we can't get complacent. With this team, there's no need to worry about that, because from the top to bottom, it's all about energy. We all have the energy to come in every day and give it our all – regardless of the weather, regardless of circumstances. We're out here to compete and get better every day."
---Jaguars Tight End Marcedes Lewis
The Jaguars' rookies will remain in town for much of the next two weeks, while the veterans' offseason program ended Thursday. The players will report to training camp July 25, with the first practice scheduled July 26.
AROUND THE JAGUARS
*Running back Maurice Jones-Drew (foot) did not practice Wednesday, with quarterback Jordan Rodgers (sports hernia) and Babin (groin) also missing practice. Wide receivers Justin Blackmon, Cecil Shorts III and Taylor Price also were held out of practice, with rookie wide receiver Tobais Palmer returning after missing the first two days of minicamp because of a personal issue.
*Tight end Brent Brackett also missed practice after undergoing groin surgery Tuesday.